We admit: we’re trying new things with our headlines. We thought this one would be an attention grabber. In all honesty, these mangled words spoken by Amtrak president Joseph Boardman has made a lot of us here at ratpag aware that Joseph Boardman is the Amtrak president and, no matter who was in that sacred position, we would be fans. So, Joseph Boardman, we now know that we are fans of you, personally, and now you know that we are fans of you.
Our Boardman-fandom has only grown after reading this article from the Philadelphia Inquirer discussing President Boardman’s scheming for faster, bigger, and better high speed trains along the Northeast Corridor. Proposals for the new Acela trains are being sought and are expected to be in service by 2018.
Though the dream is for 220-mile per hour trains along the corridor by 2030 and 2040 the current reality is that existing infrastructure and equipment along the line can’t handle speeds greater than 160 mph. In light of that, President Boardman has pursued a strategy of improving equipment and infrastructure bit by bit as he refuses to “sit back and wait” for the money to come from Congress to rebuild the whole thing in one fell swoop.
The new Acela trains are expected to carry about 450 passengers, up from the current 304, and “will be more reliable than their predecessors, improving on-time performance.” Unfortunately, actual travel times are not likely to see much improvement in this first iteration of new trains but, with the increased capacity, maybe we’ll see somewhat lower prices. Hopefully.
The article ends with the words that have so endeared Boardman to ratpag as it discusses his renewed “call for Congress to approve a new way of funding Amtrak, instead of relying on annual appropriations.”
“What the hell is wrong with this country?” Boardman said. “We’re eating our assets alive.”
“The debt to the future has to be paid by us,” he said. “What we need to do now is provide for the next 100 years.”
Indeed. Mr. Boardman, your tireless efforts and stubborn loyalty to Amtrak has won you the support and endorsement of ratpag for life. Congratulations and keep up the good work.